Deputy thrown from horse during parade dies

Courtesy photo of Michael Winter, who was injured May 30, 2016. (Facebook)

QUINCY, Mich. (WOOD) — A Branch County sheriff’s deputy died Tuesday afternoon, the day after he was thrown from his horse during a Memorial Day parade.

Deputy Mike Winter, 39, of Coldwater, died around 1:45 p.m., according to a Facebook post from the Branch County Sheriff’s Office.

The accident happened just after 11:15 a.m. Monday during the parade in the village of Quincy, east of Coldwater. Authorities say Winter was riding his horse as part of the sheriff’s posse when a noise spooked the horse. The horse bucked, causing Winter to fall to the ground, hitting his head.

A witness told 24 Hour News 8 a nurse who was in the crowd helped Winter until emergency crews arrived on scene. He was taken to Parkview Health hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he was initially hospitalized with serious injuries.

The sheriff’s office said Tuesday evening that Winter’s organs will be donated, so he would remain on life support for the next 24 to 48 hours.

“The Branch County Sheriff’s Office wishes to express their deepest sympathy to the family of Deputy Winters,” the sheriff’s office said in the Tuesday evening Facebook post. “He will be greatly missed by all of us his co-workers and fellow law enforcement family. We shall always remember him for his service to his country, to the Branch County Sheriff’s Office and to his family.

Donations for Winter’s family are being accepted at the sheriff’s office.

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